(Business in Cameroon) - In late 2021, 92.5% of the Cameroonian road network was still made up of dirt roads, according to the Ministry of Public Works. The Ministry said, out of a 121,884.7 linear kilometer network as of November that year, 112,740.2 kilometers were dirt roads while 9,144.5 kilometers (7.5% of the network) were paved.
“The dirt road network has the highest impact on the population’s daily routine and their living standards are much dependent on the service they can have access to through those roads,” the Ministry of Public Works comments. It adds that the percentage of dirt roads in the national network is higher than that of paved roads because of resource scarcity. Therefore, measures have been taken to extend the lifespan of those dirt roads.
First, critical points of the dirt road network (including engineering and drainage infrastructures) are upgraded and engineering and drainage infrastructures built. The roadbeds are then leveled and maintained while layers of stabilized or treated pavement are added for a longer life span (ranging between 5 and 7 years).
The Ministry explains that all through their lifespan, dirt roads require routine maintenance like dredging drainage infrastructures and clearing the nearby weeds. Also, the type of maintenance depends on the soil of the road, it adds.